Aftermarket Neckband

The Any Gauge Raglans begin with the cast on of a large neck opening. It will seem really big. For the Baby sizes it’s 18″ around. For the Kid’s sizes it’s 24″ and for the Adult sizes the neck opening is 30″ around. The Neckband is knit last. There are a couple of good reasons for this. At least I think they’re good reasons.

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  1.  You can use ANY YARN for these Any Gauge Raglans. You can cast on with your best guess at gauge. Use the gauge indicated on the ball band if you know you’re usually close to gauge, close is good enough to get started. This large neck opening gives you lots of space to be a little tight or a little loose. No swatch, No problem. The adjustment for the final neck size is done later.
  2.  The Neckband is worked with a much smaller needle. The smaller needle will make the neck opening about 2″ smaller right away. Then, depending on how much smaller you need the opening to be, you can work a decrease round to pull the Neckband in an extra 5%, 10% or 20%. You can make the Neckband the size you desire.

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BONUS –  You can delay having to decide which stitch pattern you’re going to use to finish your sweater Neckband, Bottom Border and Cuffs. You may have a solid idea of what you want your final sweater to look like when you begin but when you see the Body finished you may have a new idea. Delaying the decision also gives you something to look forward to which I especially like. No need to decide everything all at once at the beginning.

I had a bag of chunky yarn, only 2 balls of each colour. No problem. I can work out something as I go so let’s cast on right now. As I progressed down the yoke I made decisions for when to start the second colour. This is a 6 year old size using 300g of yarn.

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Any Gauge Raglan Kid’s, size 6 years

The Any Gauge Raglan Kid’s pattern is now available on ravelry. Do you have someone between the ages of 4 and 12 who could use a pullover? Dive into your stash now.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

Deb Gemmell patterns

Cabin Fever Patterns

Place Sleeves for Any Gauge Raglans

When you knit a Top Down sweater, you choose the size using your bust measurement. Do the sleeves always fit? They quite often don’t for me.

I think I have solved this problem in the Any Gauge Raglan sweater series. I’m very excited to present the first one. This is a recipe style pattern where you do some math and work according to your own gauge. Tight knitter, loose knitter, it doesn’t matter. Your particular gauge matters.

I’ve started the Any Gauge Raglan series with a baby sizes, Newborn to 4 year old size:  Any Gauge Raglan Baby

What prompted this idea? As a designer, I would usually choose a set of sizes for the Body and Sleeves for each pattern. I would look at the set of sizes and work out the number of stitches needed for the Front, Back and Sleeves at the Bottom of the Yoke. Then I would work backwards up to the neckline to decide on the number of stitches for the neckline for all the sizes. The finished sleeve size dictates how wide the top of the shoulder is at the neckline.

But what if I want a particular shape of neckline? In this case I wanted a rectangular neck opening with a wide shoulder.

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The size of the shoulders on these neck openings is wide so that there is a drop down the front and back of the neck. After working all the yoke increases the sleeve may not be the proper size for the sleeve you need.  Oh, no, what to do?

What if … we used the Raglan lines as a guide only? What if … your actual sleeve needed could be wider or narrower than the Raglan Markers indicate? I mean, really, are the Raglan Markers set in stone?

I made a video to explain:  Place Sleeves on Any Gauge Raglans

This takes a particular set up which I am working on in the Any Gauge Raglan sweater series. I’m very excited to present the Any Gauge Raglan Baby/Toddler Pullover.

Use ANY YARN you want. Go ahead, dive into your stash and pick the perfect colour in any weight of yarn you have. Cast On and knit any size up to 4 years old.

What do you think of this idea? All comments, questions and photos are welcome. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

Deb Gemmell patterns on ravelry

Cabin Fever patterns and books on ravelry

Double Decreases, which one to use

Lace knitting involves lots of awkwardness and sometimes you have to work to make it as pleasant as you can. There is a chart to read and if you screw up there you’re in deep trouble, yarn overs which can be easy to miss and decreases where the slant is important and needs to be kept track of. Lace knitting is beautiful, the more complex, the more beautiful. It’s hard to resist.

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The lace dress that I almost didn’t wear. My wedding glitch.

Can we remove some of the pitfalls? Knitting Techy Talk begins here.

First of all you need Markers. In the body of this lace sweater I was working 20 repeats of the pattern.  Without markers I could make a mistake in the second repeat and not realize until I didn’t have the correct number of stitches at the end of the round. That would be the end of lace knitting for me, right there, that round. The knitting would be winging it’s way across the room as the air turned blue. I did that with my first lace project. I have learned a few things since then: Use Markers.

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With markers after every 10 stitch repeat, how far wrong could I go? Believe me I corrected quite a few errors within those 10 stitch repeats as I was knitting this top but I didn’t have to rip rounds back. (OK, I admit there was that one section I had to rip back but I was already so far down that I didn’t mind doing it.)

Unfortunately, for this stitch pattern the markers created a problem. Sometimes you just can’t win.

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double decrease blog post, 123

 

The Double Decreases (the inverted V) at the end of the repeats are the problem. Once the markers are placed the Double Decreases used in this pattern are awkward to work. The 3 stitches involved in this decrease are numbered on the chart and you can see that the Marker is between stitch #2 & stitch#3. There lies the problem.

This pattern uses this Double Decrease: Slip 1 stitch knitwise, knit 2 stitches together, pass slipped stitch over. Easy enough until … you add in markers for each repeat.

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double decrease blog post, 123

This is really how it works: slip stitch#1 knitwise, slip stitch#2 purlwise, Remove the Marker, Replace slipped stitch#2 back onto the Left needle, knit 2 sts together (sts #2 & #3), pass first slipped stitch over and Replace the Marker. AWKWARD.

I decided there needed to be a change. You’re allowed, I’m allowed, we’re all allowed to mess with patterns. I changed that Double Decrease to a Center Post Double Decrease.

Center Post Double Decrease:  Slip 2 stitches together knitwise (sts #1 & #2), knit 1 stitch (st#3), pass 2 slipped stitches over.

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With the markers in place this really works as:  Slip 2 stitches together knitwise, Remove Marker, knit 1 stitch, pass 2 slipped stitches over, Replace Marker. DONE.

Yes, it looks different but the ease of knitting made it totally worth the change.

I like the result.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

My patterns on Ravelry

Knit to Fit and Fade

My first fade is finished. I love it. I knit it in Dragon Strings,   Fairy Wrap (worsted weight) in Dirty Hippy colourway with 4 colours. The Fade stripes were easy to work and it’s so much fun getting to see the next colour blend in. I would totally do another sweater this way.

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KNIT TO FIT:    Usually your Top Down pullover will have a specific number of stitches to reach for the bottom of the yoke. That was the case here but I still wanted to have extra width across the Front for 2 obvious reasons. The easiest way to do this was to work the increases that would normally be worked on the Back, on the Front as extra increases. The stitch count remains as it should and there would then be extra width on the Front where I needed it.

Continue reading “Knit to Fit and Fade”

Raglan Sleeve Freedom

Have you ever checked the measurement of your arms? Does the sleeve of every sweater you knit come out correctly for you? Is that stopping you from knitting for yourself?20180809_112733

We use the bust measurement to choose a sweater size to knit but does that mean that the corresponding sleeve is going to fit also? As I age I find I need larger sleeves than many patterns will give me, especially if the pattern is written by someone younger and smaller. If you are busty you may find that you need a narrower sleeve than the pattern is going to give you. If you are plus sized you definitely need to check your arm size against the schematic to check the fit.

Continue reading “Raglan Sleeve Freedom”

What If … Diamonds

On your next raglan which you don’t want to be a raglan, you could try this:20180311_162222

Yes, you could.

I’ve written a new pattern based on this idea called Kid’s Diamond Pullover where I moved the markers from the standard raglan set up to new positions. I still worked the same number of increases every other round. Moving the markers changes the shape of the neckline and this set up will give you a slight V in the front and back of the neckline with no trouble at all.

Here is the standard raglan set up with 4 markers for the raglan lines and increases worked on either side of these markers. The 4 markers are set between the sections of this sweater: Front, marker, sleeve, marker, Back, marker, sleeve, marker, second Front.skew 20180408_091840

So what would happen if we just placed the 4 markers equidistant from each other in a pullover? There are still the same 4 markers where you will work a pair of increases every other round. The stitch numbers will work out the same. It’s actually not too much of a leap is it?

Continue reading “What If … Diamonds”

What if … Skew stumbling

Sometimes an idea comes into your head fully formed and all that is needed is execution. It could be a variation on a recipe, a knitting pattern, a paint colour scheme, a new way to wear an outfit, an idea for your garden or something totally other. And sometimes upon execution, as hiccups develop, comes the realization that the idea was not as fully formed as you thought. Do you give up? Do you persevere?

This is happening with my Skew design and I am persevering because I am still excited about the original idea.

I started with the idea of moving one of the raglan increases over and working a stitch pattern into the space.skew 20180408_091905

My first little sweater had some problems. The ribbed stitch pattern was causing the front to pull against the buttonband. It would have to be buttoned up all the time to keep the front edges lined up.20180408_083659

So I changed the ribbing to a broken rib (garter stitches between the twisted cables). Then I realized that the cable pattern had to be more prominent to stand up against the garter stitches. So that got changed too. A couple of hitches fixed up to my satisfaction.20180424_111308

I’m happy with the original idea of the skew which is showing nicely at the bottom of the front.20180424_111411

Almost there. This sweater needs a lighter colour to show the pattern well for photography so the next sweater will be light blue, pink, cream, oatmeal?? That’s my project this week.

I hope all your hiccups are minor and easily solved. Happy knitting this week,

Deb

ANY GAUGE and GAUGE-FREE patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever patterns

Deb on instagram

 

What Would Happen If …

Have you knit several Top Down Raglans? Are you looking at knitting another one and wonder if there is a small change you could make that would make it new again? I was thinking the same thought.20180408_083659

Continue reading “What Would Happen If …”

Pick A Body Shape

Waist & hip shaping (2)What is your favourite sweater shape? I believe that sweaters need a curve to make us look our best. If you knit from the Top Down you get to choose the curve you want to put in your sweater.

You can work this typical Waist Shaping. Decreases are worked to nip the waist in and then increases are worked back to your original number of body stitches.

 

You can add Hip Shaping. Work decreases to take the waist in, work increases back to the original number of body stitches and then work some more increases to add extra width to the hip for more wiggle room. This is my go-to for any fitted sweater.

 

 

This is one of my favourites for a casual sweater, Hip Only Shaping. Work straight down to the waist and then work increases for extra hip width. If you are hippy this is wonderful because, for once, your hips work for you and give this shaping a terrific curve with very little effort.

 

Have you worked an A-line? These are very flattering and create a great curve. They do have to be the correct length and width to be effective. A small amount of A-line shaping can be worked into a shorter hip length garment. A lot and I mean lots, of extra width can be worked into a tunic length sweater. They can really swing. Did I mention that they are wonderfully comfortable to wear?

 

Do you have a favourite? Is there one of these shapes you’d love to try?

Thanks for reading,

Deb

ANY GAUGE and GAUGE-FREE patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns

Deb on Instagram

4 Top Down Advantages

I’ve been knitting Top Down for many years and I’m probably never going back to bottom up garments. OK, never say never because it could happen, sometime, maybe. Here are several reasons why I love knitting Top Down:

1. The Body length of the sweater is in your control. If your sweater is the correct length you might find that you wear it more often. Are you short like me or tall (I wish)? Do you find that your sweaters look best if they are a certain length? When you knit from the top, you get to choose. You can make your sweater the length you want whether the pattern was written for that particular length or not.

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Simple Circular Yoke

 

2.  Sleeve Length is also yours to determine. I have worked with taller people who actually wanted the long sleeve of their sweater to be shorter than I would wear them. This totally shocked me. Apparently I like my sleeves quite long.

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3.  You can try your sweater on many, many times. Put half the stitches onto another long circular needle. The circular needle can be the same size you are knitting with or a smaller size. This gives you room to spread the stitches out around your body to give you an indication of the size. I often try my sweaters on about 6 times during the knitting. I want all the lengths to be right. Of course I’m sure every time that I have knit it to the correct length only to find that I still need to work a couple more rounds. How come they always look longer on the needles? I thought I was much further along on this sweater!

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Take It From The Top KAL

4.  You can put all the shaping exactly where you need it. Not that you can’t when you knit from the bottom up but you have plan quite a bit ahead of time. A top down sweater can be shaped as you work. You can put it on after the Great Divide to check where the bust shaping should start. As you work down the body you can see where your waist is and where to begin the hip shaping. When you are past your elbow you can put your arm through the sleeve and measure how much further you have to knit to the exact sleeve length you desire.waist shaping I

Knitting to your unique figure is easier when you can alter the pattern as you work. Being able to try it is a huge plus.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

ANY GAUGE and GAUGE-FREE patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns

Deb onInstagram